Review of Robin Detje's Castorf Book Prowokacja dla zasady, transl. Mateusz Borowski and Małgorzata Sugiera (Kraków, 2013) Cover Image
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Recenzja książki Robin Detje, Castorf, Prowokacja dla zasady, przeł. Mateusz Borowski i Małgorzata Sugiera (Kraków 2013)
Review of Robin Detje's Castorf Book Prowokacja dla zasady, transl. Mateusz Borowski and Małgorzata Sugiera (Kraków, 2013)

Author(s): Artur Duda
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: theatre studies;theatre theory;

Summary/Abstract: The edition of Castorf. Provokation als Prinzip (translated by Małgorzata Sugiera and Mateusz Borowski) by Robin Detje is the first book in Poland devoted to the artistic director of the Volksbühne in Berlin. The author of the review critically examines the book, praising the colourful portrayal of the director’s life set against the background of his family relations, numerous love partners, and with a look into very interesting private and family documents as well as school archives and files of the Stasi, East German secret police. Of particular interest is the part titled East, which concerns Castorf’s artistic activity in the GDR. The author of the review draws attention to the director’s attitude toward the Communist state, his struggles with the regime, and his balanced views on vetting informants and unofficial collaborators of the Stasi (a digression about the case of Michael Schindhelm). In his opinion, due to the lack of historical distance, the second part of the book, entitled West, does not make as much of an impression as the first one. The reviewer emphasises the book’s merits (behind-the-scenes details of how Castorf first met the actors that he worked with in Berlin; the heroic beginnings of the Volksbühne; the significance of rock music in his life and directing, especially as far as his contestation of the bourgeois theatre and culture is concerned) but points out that the reflexion on Castorf’s theatre aesthetics is somewhat fragmentary: in what sense is he a continuator of Stanislavski and Brecht? Is he really inspired by commedia dell’arte? What are the distinguishing features of acting in Castorf’s theatre? All the objections, however, do not change the fact that R. Detje’s book about a rebel director makes for fascinating reading. Finally, the reviewer highlights some Poland-related strands in Frank Castorf’s biography.

  • Issue Year: 250/2014
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 228-336
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Polish